Rube Goldberg, Inc is a not-for-profit 501(c)-3, committed to equity and access in STEM and STEAM education. Our family-run organization has been hosting Rube Goldberg Machine Contests for over 30 years, encouraging students of all ages and from all socio-economic backgrounds to use their creativity, leadership, and social skills in building the overly complicated machines that bear Rube’s name.
The People Behind Rube Goldberg Inc.
Jennifer George – Legacy Director
The world’s foremost expert on all things Rube Goldberg, Jennifer George is the legacy director of Rube Goldberg Inc. (RGI). Overseeing all aspects of her grandfather’s estate, Jennifer has conceived and developed numerous cultural events and educational projects, often linking the fields of art, science, technology, and entertainment in visionary ways. Annual competitions, traveling museum exhibitions, books, licensing, merchandising, and entertainment opportunities expand and enhance the brand. Jennifer inherited the mantle of running RGI from her father and is focused on keeping the world of Rube Goldberg thriving for generations to come.
Deborah Calagna – Director of Operations
Deb Calagna began her career working with Blue Man Group where for over a decade she helped build the performance art company that is now an international sensation. For the past ten years, alongside Jennifer George, Deb coordinates operations and brings her expertise in creative branding to all aspects of the Rube Goldberg brand. She is also the mother of a 7 year-old and passionate about STEM education and enhancing creativity, leadership and social skills for young people today.
Kathleen Felix – RGI Managing Director
After 20 years as owner and creative director of Marketing Design, Inc., Kathleen Felix was tapped to be art director by the New York Times Magazine Group. She then became the art director for Saw Mill Partners. For more than a dozen years since then, Kathleen has been at the head of RGI and the Rube Goldberg Machine Contests as managing director—designing, producing, implementing, overseeing and managing a wide swath of projects on a daily basis. If you’ve been involved with the RGI for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably met her via phone or email. She keeps the wheels rolling!
Kristen Kelley – National Project Director
For almost 20 years Kristen was a key figure at Viacom/MTV Networks. She was an executive assistant to the C.E.O. of MTV Networks, then became an affiliate relations Sales Manager for MTVU – MTV’s college channel, focused on Marketing and Distribution. Kristen’s goal at RGI is to increase contest participation and to inspire/enable students from every geographic and economic background to join in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contests. She interacts daily with STEM educators, museums and RGM builders while managing the social media platforms for RGI, creating a sense of Rube community.
Cheryll Obendorf – National Competition Advisor
Cheryll has been the executive director of Genesis: Pathways to Success, a STEM education initiative in Indiana, for over a decade. Genesis has been a regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest host for more than 9 years. Cheryll’s expertise in running a large and successful regional competition, provides RGI with an “insider” perspective on contests. She is an invaluable resource as we solicit new teams, new sponsors and coordinate National Finals in Indiana.
Buff Parham – Strategic Advisor
With 35 years of media sales/sales management experience, primarily in entertainment Industries, Buff enjoys solving complex problems in simple ways, making him a perfect fit for RGI. His expertise in sales leadership coaching, strategy formulation and execution/revenue development has made him an integral part of RGI. Buff is dedicated to accelerating the growth and development of the Rube Goldberg brand and offers a fresh/positive perspective to the team.
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